How the Chicago School Overshot the Mark: The Effect of Conservative Economic Analysis on U.S…

Paperback | November 5, 2008

EditorRobert Pitofsky

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How the Chicago School Overshot the Mark is about the rise and recent fall of American antitrust. It is a collection of 15 essays, almost all expressing a deep concern that conservative economic analysis is leading judges and enforcement officials toward an approach that will ultimately harmconsumer welfare. For the past 40 years or so, U.S. antitrust has been dominated intellectually by an unusually conservative style of economic analysis. Its advocates, often referred to as "The Chicago School," argue that the free market (better than any unelected band of regulators) can do a better job of achievingefficiency and encouraging innovation than intrusive regulation. The cutting edge of Chicago School doctrine originated in academia and was popularized in books by brilliant and innovative law professors like Robert Bork and Richard Posner. Oddly, a response to that kind of conservative doctrine maybe put together through collections of scores of articles but until now cannot be found in any one book. This collection of essays is designed in part to remedy that situation. The chapters in this book were written by academics, former law enforcers, private sector defense lawyers, Republicans and Democrats, representatives of the left, right and center. Virtually all agree that antitrust enforcement today is better as a result of conservative analysis, but virtually allalso agree that there have been examples of extreme interpretations and misinterpretations of conservative economic theory that have led American antitrust in the wrong direction. The problem is not with conservative economic analysis but with those portions of that analysis that have "overshot themark" producing an enforcement approach that is exceptionally generous to the private sector. If the scores of practices that traditionally have been regarded as anticompetitive are ignored, or not subjected to vigorous enforcement, prices will be higher, quality of products lower, and innovationdiminished. In the end consumers will pay.

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How the Chicago School Overshot the Mark is about the rise and recent fall of American antitrust. It is a collection of 15 essays, almost all expressing a deep concern that conservative economic analysis is leading judges and enforcement officials toward an approach that will ultimately harmconsumer welfare. For the past 40 years or s...

Robert Pitofsky has seen all sides of regulatory law enforcement and analysis: government enforcer and judge, private sector defense attorney, government consultant and for over 40 years law professor. He has taught antitrust and other aspects of regulatory law (communications, intellectual property) for about 40 years at New York Uni...

other books by Robert Pitofsky

Format:PaperbackDimensions:328 pages, 6.1 × 9.02 × 0.91 inPublished:November 5, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195339762

ISBN - 13:9780195339765

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Table of Contents

Robert Pitofsky: Introduction: Setting the Stage1. Conservative Economic Analysis and its Effects2. Is Efficiency All that Counts?3. Chicago School and Dominant Firm Behavior4. Are Conservatives Correct that Vertical Arrangements (Merger and Distribution) Can Very Rarely Injure Consumer Welfare?5. Has the Free Rider Explanation for Vertical Arrangements Been Unrealistically Expanded?6. Reinvigorating Merger Enforcement that has Declined as a Result of Conservative Economic Analysis

Editorial Reviews

"This collection of essays--by lawyers and economists, many of whom are former antitrust enforcement officials--will generously reward a close read by anyone who is interested in the current intellectual state of antitrust thinking. As largely a critique of recent legal decisions and of recentenforcement, these essays are likely to form the basis for new directions for antitrust in the coming decade."--Lawrence J. White, Professor of Economics, NYU Stern School of Business